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In a victory for all current and future families in the U.S., the Supreme Court of the United States declared bans against gay marriage are unconstitutional. In a 5 to 4 ruling (all the women plus Justice Anthony Kennedy in favor), the court ruled that all states must license same-sex marriages and that they have to recognize legal unions from other states.
Breaking from the usual dry legalese in their rulings, Kennedy instead moved many with the final paragraph of the court's opinion:
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. "[The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
Recognizing love and the right to form a marital union, sure, are the result of today's ruling. But, as Sandhya Somashekhar wrote in the Washington Post earlier this week, kids, families with kids, became the one of the strongest arguments not only in getting support around the country for same-sex marriage, but also for how the Justices in favor of striking down bans framed their own thinking.
Starting on page 14, the SCOTUS decision describes its third basis for protecting the right to marry: Because it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education. [Thanks to Mom.me contributor Jay Miranda for contributing to this article.]
Dissenting justices argued that same-sex marriage is a legislative matter, not a constitutional one.
Today's ruling expands recognition of marriage between two men or two women beyond the37 states where same-sex marriage was legal. The remaining states must now get on board starting today. Already, Texas is pushing back.